Item Levels are displayed at the bottom of certain equipment's item descriptions. It was introduced to the game with the Seekers of Adoulin expansion pack on March 27, 2013 and currently applies only to gear introduced since then. It is intended as a system for players to reach effectively higher levels without either rewriting the search system or allowing subjobs above level 49.
Applicable items and average item level
Item level is a stat that only applies to level 99 gear in the Main, Sub, Ranged, Ammo, Head, Body, Hands, Legs, and Feet slots. The current highest item level is 119. Players have a weighted average item level across all applicable slots that is calculated by the level difference between 99 and the item's level.
50% of the average item level is derived from the highest level item gear in either the Main, Sub, Ranged, or Ammo slot. For example, a 119 main weapon with no other slots will give an average item level of 109 (50% of the 20 level difference between 99 and 119 = 10). This has the interesting effect that a level 1 Shortbow with level 119 Achiyalabopa Arrows will still count as a 119 weapon.
Each of the six sub-values are added together, then rounded down to give the player's average item level. Therefore, a player with a 119 weapon, four 119 armor pieces, and a 117 armor piece will still be considered item level 118 despite technically being 118.9.
To easily determine your average item level, either use /checkparam on yourself or go to the Equipment menu, where it's listed underneath your job and subjob levels.
For the most part, higher item level means better stats. The big exception is gear obtained through Records of Eminence, which, despite being item level 117, generally has inferior stats compared to level 109 Reforged Artifact/Relic Armor, level 110 and 113 Delve equipment, and level 115 Wildskeeper Reive equipment. All stats should be factored in when choosing equipment.
Effects on /check
- The check message that displays when examining enemies is dependent upon the item levels of adventurers' equipment.
- For example, if an enemy is level 102, it checks as tough to a player with no item level equipment. If that player bumps their item level to 102 (i.e. through a 106 weapon), the enemy would check as an Even Match.
- Item level does not affect experience points given. A regular level 99 player killing a level 99 monster will still get 200 experience, whether they have no item level or average item level 119.
Effects on magic weapon skills
- Item level directly increases damage done by magic-based weapon skills (e.g. Gust Slash). See Calculating Weapon Skill Damage.
Effects on Skill Ratings
- Item-level equipment with "+X Skill" does not actually increase skills with specific weapon types. Instead, it provides accuracy and attack bonuses as if the skill were higher only to the weapon itself. This is to prevent dual-wielding from being overpowered, whether by doubling up on skill bonuses (i.e. getting +484 skill from two 119 weapons) or granting high skill bonus to lower level weapons. Magic Accuracy Skill+ appears to only apply to the main hand weapon since getting it from both would invalidate two handed weapon for spellcasting.
Effects on Spells
- Spell Interruption Rate is decreased if both an item level and "[Weapon] skill +" are present on items equipped as main weapons.
- Magic accuracy increases when wielding a weapon with a displayed item level in the main hand.
- Utsusemi: If both item level and "[type of weapon] skill +" are present on the item equipped as a main weapon and the player's main job is set to Ninja, the number of Utsusemi shadow images consumed by attacks will be reduced.
- Blue Magic: Physical blue magic damage increases when an item level weapon that provides a "[Weapon] skill +X" bonus is equipped in the main hand.
Effects on Pets
Note: in all of the below cases, changing equipment that affects a pet's stats dynamically adjusts the pet's stats, even if the pet is already active.
- The attack, defense, accuracy, evasion, magic accuracy, and magic attack of all pets called using the “Call Beast” ability increases based on the item level of the weapon equipped in the main hand.
- At level 99, certain Beastmaster Jug Pets can have their stats increased even further based on the item level of the weapon equipped in the main hand.
- The internal level of the pet is still level 99, but the pet's stats are raised.
- The following pets receive additional bonuses from item levels:
- Slippery Silas / Turbid Toloi / Crafty Clyvonne / Dipper Yuly / Flowerpot Merle / Lucky Lulush / Nursery Nazuna / Dapper Mac / Discreet Louise / Fatso Fargann / Presto Julio / Mailbuster Cetas / Audacious Anna / Swift Sieghard / Faithful Falcorr / Bloodclaw Shasra / Bugeyed Broncha / Gorefang Hobs / Gooey Gerard / Crude Raphie
- At level 99, Dragoon Wyverns' levels are based on the item level of the weapon equipped in the main hand.
- The attack, defense, accuracy, evasion, magic accuracy, and magic attack of wyverns increases based on the item level of the weapon equipped in the main hand.
- At level 99, Avatars' levels as well as their Accuracy, Attack, Evasion, and Defense (but not Hit Points) are based on the item level of the item equipped in the ammo slot.
- Relevant items: Convocaller (level 106), Dashavatara Sachet (113), Eminent Sachet (115), Idaraaja (117), Seraphicaller (119)
- Additionally, Nirvana (119) adds 2 to an avatar's level, which can result in level 121.
- Further, Asteria Mitts +1 and Lamassu Mitts +1 gives an extra level to Carbuncle and Cait Sith, respectively, giving them a possible level cap of 122.
- Swapping items in the ammo slot dynamically raises and lowers the avatar's stats appropriately.
- At level 99, Automatons' levels are based on the item level of the animator equipped.
Effects on Alter Egos and Adventuring Fellows
- Alter Egos summoned with Trust Magic receive stat bonuses based on the item levels of the caller's equipment. Changing equipment dynamically adjusts the alter egos' stats, even when they are already active. This can cause drastic and debilitating stat shifts with item swap Macros.
- Level 99 Adventuring Fellows increase in level according to the player's average equipped Item Level.